What Do Bank Holidays Have to Do with Growing Your Business?

The period from late March to the end of May seems to be the season for bank holidays. Two at Easter, one at the beginning of May, one at the end — it almost seems as if a five-day week is the exception.

It can be disruptive, but bank holidays were originally introduced for sound reasons that benefitted everyone. And the same principles can help your business grow.

The Origin of Bank Holidays

Traditionally, workers in Britain were given certain religious days off work. this was primarily for going to church, though the rest of the day could be used for relaxation. In 1834, however, all these holidays except Christmas Day and Good Friday were abolished.

During the 19th century, a movement gradually gathered strength to introduce new holidays. Although the initial impetus was from campaigners for workers’ rights, many enlightened industrialists realised that they’d actually gain more than they lost through refreshed workers with a more positive attitude.

The Bank Holidays Act 1871 created four statutory holidays in England and Wales (Scotland had slightly different arrangements). Easter Monday, Whit Monday, August Bank Holiday and Boxing Day joined the two “from time immemorial” holidays, and the list has grown and changed since then.

The Benefits of Holidays to Business

Just like in 1871, business owners recognise that giving their employees enough time off is more than just an unwelcome obligation. Besides providing adequate rest, employees who have a good work-life balance are far more valuable than those who don’t.

For one thing, they’re less stressed, and consequently less likely to make mistakes. For another, a fully-rounded life plays an important role in creativity. If you want your staff to be popping with great ideas, you need them to spend time with their family, playing sports, making music — whatever’s important to them outside work.

You and the Work-Life Balance

It’s not only your employees who need a great work-life balance, though. Running a business can be stressful and full time, especially if you’re on your own. Because it’s so vital to make a success of your business, you may be tempted to devote all your time to it, at the expense of your personal life and relationships.

It doesn’t have to be either/or. Whether you hire staff to take on some of your responsibilities or outsource the tasks you don’t enjoy, it’s crucial to get your balance back.

You’re very welcome to get in touch for a chat about possible strategies. And, if you’re tempted to work through one of the upcoming bank holidays — why not do something fun instead. Your business will benefit.

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